Judge told ex-Uber driver accused of kidnapping was off schizophrenia meds
Florida ride-share driver ordered to be held without bond after medical exam
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A Florida Uber driver accused of kidnapping a passenger who eventually jumped from the window of the moving car suffers from schizophrenia and was off her medication at the time, medical staff told a Tallahassee judge Monday morning.
Destiny Green, 30, was ordered to be remain in jail without bond for now.
Green is charged with kidnapping and false imprisonment.
Police said Green's passenger told them that Green held her against her will and refused repeated requests to drop her off.
The passenger, a college student, said that she initially asked to be taken to a house on Airport Drive, but became uncomfortable and asked to be dropped off at an apartment complex on Madison Street they were passing, but as the driver was going around the block, the car was stopped by a Florida State University police officer. Once they were moving again, Green refused to drop off the passenger, saying she was taking her to the hospital instead.
The passenger said she didn't want to go and asked to be let out every time they stopped at a red light, but the doors were locked. According to the police report, the passenger rolled down a window and the next chance she got, jumped out, ran to a Walgreens store and called 911.
Police, responding to her calls for help, said they found her with the knees of her jeans ripped and bloody, but otherwise uninjured.
Because the victim knew the driver's name and license number from the Uber app, Green was brought in for questioning. Police said Green admitted giving a ride to the victim but refused to cooperate beyond that and was arrested.
Green had a mental health examination and medical staff told a judge at Green's first appearance on Monday that she suffers from schizophrenia and stopped taking her medication in January.
Judge Nina Ashenafi Richardson ordered Green to remain in jail until she has resumed taking her medication.
“It’s too early for this court to be comfortable releasing you, OK?" Richardson said. "There will have to be some more assurances of where you are, what your state of mind is, and how you’re going to be able to care for yourself, OK?”
Green’s public defender argued that she was not guilty of kidnapping, and only the false imprisonment charge she faces has any merit at all.
Richardson also ordered Green to not resume driving for hire until the case is resolved. Uber has already terminated Green.
On Friday, an Uber spokesperson issued the following statement:
"What this rider reported is deeply troubling. We have removed the driver from the app and stand ready to support the police investigation."
According to the spokesperson, Uber remover the driver's access as soon as it learned of the incident and Uber has reached out to the rider to offer support.
The spokesperson also provided additional information on its guidelines for drivers and riders:
- Here are Uber’s Community Guidelines, which outline behavior expected by driver and riders during a trip.
- Uber has an emergency button built into the app that connect riders to calling 911. Uber encourages riders and drivers to use this feature in an emergency as it provides crucial information like the license plate and make and model of the car you are in right in the app so you can tell the 911 operator. You can see a video of the feature by clicking here.
- All drivers must undergo a screening process before they can use the Uber app, which includes a driving and criminal history background check reviewing local, state and national records.
- Here is some background on the screening process for drivers. Additionally, Uber conducts its background checks consistent with the requirements set forth by Florida law.
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